Friday, 22 November 2019

PART 3 : Mr. & Mrs. Mallik

Armaan reached his destination, quite early not able to control his excitement. As he stepped inside Sanjeevani, his joy knew no bounds. Was his anxiety due to the fact that he had been accepted as an intern in Sanjeevani or due to the fact that he had proved his father wrong. Only God knows that!

Armaan remembered that day well when his father, kind of humiliated him saying that he could never make it to Sanjeevani. He had decided at that very moment, that he would prove his dad wrong.  And now he stood here, with an acceptance letter in his hand. He closed his eyes for a moment and thanked Raji, who had been by his side in achieving his target.

Smiling to himself and eyeing all the beautiful nurses, he moved to the reception. "Excuse me" he said to get the attention of the nurse at the reception. The nurse glanced at him, while he striked his dimpled smile to her. He was quite sure that the young nurse was bowled with his charm and he enjoyed the moment.

"Ahem" he distracted the nurse from her trance "Hie beautiful. I am Armaan Mallik, new intern. When is the orientation session?" While the young nurse took her time to compose herself from blushing, he scanned the corridor for any familiar faces. But to his bad luck, there was none.

"Sorry Sir. The orientation session is delayed by an hour. It will be at 11 am in the conference hall. It is this way. You may wait there" the nurse said as she pointed to the direction of the room.

He looked at his watch. It's only 9.30 am. He thanked the nurse and went in the opposite direction of the room, indicated by the nurse to have a tour of the hospital, all by himself.


Riddhima kicked her bike, pep+, frustrated. It's her first day at Sanjeevani and her bike had been giving her a good trouble. She looked at her watch. It showed 9.45 am. 'God, only 15 min left for the orientation meet' she cursed her bike once again and thought to give in one last attempt.

"Meri maa!" she pleaded her bike folding her arms "I promise you, I'll never kick you again. I'll feed you with 'Extra mile Petrol' very frequently and will get you washed every week. I'll drive you as gently as possible. Please. I beg you to start quickly." She prayed to God for one last time and pushed the start button of her bike. As if the bike had ears to listen to her pleadings, it started off with a gentle jerk. Riddhima thanked the bike and quickly got onto it and left for Sanjeevani.


Armaan, after his brief tour of the hospital, went to the conference hall. It was all empty. He glanced at his watch. It's still 10.10 am. He walked out of the room and headed to the parking lot as he remembered he forgot his certificates in his bike.

While walking towards the parking area, he noticed a girl with a red bike coming straight in his direction. He stepped aside to save himself and shouted at the girl. She stopped her bike suddenly while he moved towards her.

"Sorry" she mouthed without looking up a she was struggling with something. He noticed that she had been trying to free her dupatta which had stuck in the handle of her bike. He moved forward and helped her remove her dupatta. When he was done, he stepped back and looked at her face.

"Than…." Her voice trailed off as she looked at him. Her eyes widened in surprise and so were his.

"Basket!!" he said quite surprised to meet her. How could he forget her innocent face and she could recognize him even in her sleep after the trouble he had landed her in, with her father.

"What the hell are you doing here?" she said irritatingly as she remembered her dad's words and the turmoil she went through, the previous night, because of him. She looked at her watch and it was already 10.15 am.

Before he could speak, she said to him "Ok. Park my bike and leave the keys in the reception. I'll collect it later." She handed him her bike and ran to the hospital, leaving a stunned Armaan behind.

Armaan looked around to make sure if she addressed him. Convinced that he was the only person there, he looked at his clothes 'Do I appear like a watchman?' he said to himself. Hesitantly, he parked her bike and while leaving an envelope in the bike's rack caught his eye. He opened it and was surprised to know that she was an intern.

"Riddhima Gupta" he read her name "You will be honored to meet me soon" he said to himself and rushed to the hospital, putting the envelope in his pocket.

On his way to the conference room, he noticed Riddhima at the reception enquiring about the way to conference room. He ran to the conference hall as a deadly plan popped in his head.

The conference hall was filled with dozen interns. He scanned their faces and quickly rushed to a guy with spectacles. He took the spectacles from the guy, who was too shocked to speak, and ran to the dais adjusting his specs. He noticed an idol of Lord Ganesh beside the stage and took some sindoor and placed it on his forehead. Making a serious face, he stood at the podium, waiting for Riddhima to enter the room, while the other interns exchanged confused looks with other trying to understand what was happening.

Putting on her lab coat, she rushed to the conference room. When she entered the room, she was mortified at the person standing on the dais. "You?" she shouted as her mind refused to accept the sight before her eyes.

"Yes doctor. I am the senior doctor here and your trainer. Do you have any problem?" Armaan said, trying to maintain the serious look on his face and trying hard to suppress his laughter. Now it was the time for the other interns to open their mouth in surprise along with her.

"You are late, doctor and I hate people who are not punctual. Do you have your acceptance letter?" He said in a stern voice which brought her out form the shock. She suddenly remembered that she had forgotten it in her bike. Too embarrassed she mumbled "Sorry Sir. I forgot it in my bike" lowering her head.

"Fine Miss Gupta, I'll ask you one question. Let us see if you can answer." He said to her. She revised her memory regarding various important topics of Medicinal Sciences.

"How many are A B C D?" he asked her. This time he had to struggle not to laugh. She was beyond shocked at his question. 'What kind of a question is this?' she thought to herself. As she looked at the faces of other interns, she realized that they were more surprised than she was. 'How does he know my name?' another question raised in her mind.

"I am waiting" his words jolted her from her train of thoughts. "Sir…. There are……26 Alphabets" she said in a low voice.

"Are you sure?" Armaan asked her once again to check her answer. He was enjoying the session, while Riddhima stared at him in horror. 'Is he out of his mind?' she thought 'First, he asked me that stupid question and now asking me if I was sure. Who on this earth wouldn't know about the alphabets.'

"Yes sir. They are 26 in number" she said confidently, cursing him under his breath.

"Well then I am sorry but you are wrong. A-B-C-D are only four in number. I wonder how people like you end up becoming doctors. Only God can save your patients." He said and turned back to face the wall as he was no longer able to suppress his laughter looking at the expressions in her face.

Riddhima was dumb-stuck with his words. She didn't understand what to speak.

Armaan turned around to face her, regaining his seriousness. When he was about to speak, he noticed some doctors coming towards the room, through the window. He quickly jumped off the dais and gave back the specs to its owner and sat in the empty chair in the second row wiping off the sindoor on his forehead.

Riddhima stared at him trying to take in, whatever just happened while he winked at her biting his lips to suppress his laughter. She composed herself when she heard an announcement in the mike and realized she had been made a fool. To her irritation, she noticed that there was only one empty chair and that too beside Armaan. Hesitantly she sat beside, glaring at him.

Soon their minds were preoccupied with the orientation session by various senior doctors and they were taken for a tour of the hospital.

Riddhima befriended an intern named Muskaan during their tour. Thanks to the continuous banter of her, she forgot about the embarrassing incident and continued with her.

Armaan roared in laughter in the lunch break as the interns reached the cafeteria. He had hard time controlling it.

"Dude, you should have been an actor. Everyone was shell shocked in the conference hall." a guy said as he took his seat beside Armaan. "I know….." Armaan managed to say it and burst out into laughter and the guy joined him.

"I am Rahul" he said, when they are done with laughing, offering his hand. "And I am Armaan" Armaan shook his hand and said. They were silent for a moment and again burst into laughter remembering the funny incident.

While having a chit chat with Rahul, Armaan noticed Riddhima at the counter waiting for her order. "I'll be back in a moment" he said to Rahul and went to Riddhima.

"Hello Basket. Enjoyed the orientation?" Riddhima jumped at his voice near her ear. She shot him a dirty look and collected her order and moved towards a table. He followed her to the table "Come on yaar. It's just a joke. Why are you so angry?" he said making a puppy face.

"I don't like jokes." She said irritatingly. "I thought so" He said and kept on blabbering about everything on the earth, while she continued with her lunch.

Once she was done with her lunch, she realized she has an acute head ache. She took her head in her hands, closing he eyes.  He noticed her and asked "Are you Okay?"

Without responding, she stood up and walked away. He was stunned and ran to her and stood before her. "Look, I am not interested to talk to you. You have already eaten up half of my brain. So stay away from me or else….." she searched for words while he frowned and said "Or else?"

That's it. Riddhima's patience was off guard. She stepped ahead but he didn't move. "Or else I swear I'll kill you" she said gritting her teeth, moving one more step ahead.

With their bodies, just few inches away, Armaan could smell her. He breathed in his heart full of her scent and smiled at her playfully.  What went unnoticed by them was that they were lost in each other's eyes. Riddhima became conscious of their closeness and stepped back. looking away "And I mean it" she said and glared at him before moving away.

Armaan stared at her retreating back and thought 'Does she ever smile?' He bought a burger from the counter and went back to join his new friend.

The day being their first in the hospital, had been a hectic one. All the interns were given brief introductions about various cases and were soon very busy with their cases.



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